WTMD is listener-supported radio from the campus of Towson University.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mix Tape Thursday, 5/7/09

WTMD listeners take over the airwaves with three-to-five song sets on Thursday.

7 a.m. Mike McCann

Nels Cline is an incredible guitarist, as well as a wonderful composer of many different types of music. I think he deserves attention, and playing this mix tape on WTMD would be a great start.

And I can guarantee you will get many 'thank yous' for introducing your listeners to this incredible music.

* "Lowered Boom," by The Nels Cline Singers
* "Chi Cacoan," by Nels Cline
* "Progression," by Nels Cline

9 a.m. Glenn Carswell


* "Toe Jam," by The BPA
* "Pressure Drop," by Toots and the Maytals
* "Freeker the Speaker," by Keller Williams
* "Shakedown Street," by Grateful Dead
* "Whoever You Are," by Geggy Tah

11 a.m. Jack Livingston

* "Bird on a Wire," by k.d. lang
A cool Canadian beatitude.

* "Chelsea Hotel #2," by Rufus Wainwright
An angst-filled, soaring take on sleaze and love.

* "I'm Your Man," by Nick Cave
Nick Cave owns this song.

* "The Traitor," by Martha Wainwright
She is so in tune with Leonard Cohen's phrasing.

* "I Can't Forget," by Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis shows us the playful yet pained irony of the song.

1 p.m. Katie Dworak

The human body is composed of approximately 60% water or something like that...
About 75%-ish of the earth's surface is covered in water...
My glass is half full of delicious, refreshing tap water...
And these songs that somehow pertain to or perhaps simply mention water in some way shape or form are 100% super :)

* "Valerie," by Amy Winehouse
* "Under the Weather," by KT Tunstall
* "Mighty Storm," by The Duhks
* "Once in a Lifetime," by Talking Heads
* "Purple Rain," by Prince
* "International Dateline," by Ladytron

5 p.m. Corrie Byrne

Looks like its going to be rainy for the next couple days. I particularly like these songs because they’re songs from beloved artists but aren’t usually played on the radio. Thanks so much for allowing listeners to have control over what gets played!!!

* "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head," by Ben Folds Five
* "I Know the Reason," by Carbon Leaf
* "Steeples," by Dispatch
* "Aqueous Transmission" by Incubus

7 p.m. Tiernan Flaherty

I wanted the lyric that references Cohen and inspired the quote of the mix tape and a favorite from Mr. Leonard himself to bookend my choices with 3 of his greatest disciples and some of their best songs in between.

* "Pennyroyal Tea," by Nirvana
* "Katy Song," by Red House Painters
* "The Sorrowful Wife," by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
* "I See a Darkness," by Bonnie "Prince" Billy
* "Avalanche," by Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Baltimore" Live at Cherry Hill Elementary

Last summer, WTMD's Baltimore Unsigned challenged Americana singer-songwriter Caleb Stine and hip-hop artist Saleem to write four songs in six weeks. The unlikely collaboration yielded an incredible friendship and a solid full-length album, Outgrown These Walls. (Read the City Paper review.)

When Caleb and Saleem debuted "Baltimore" at a live taping at the 8 x 10 in July 2008, it was a revelation. Saleem's complex portrait of the city with Caleb's simple refrain, "I've got a dollar in my pocket and it's only Wednesday," moved more than a few people to shed a tear.

Saleem recently visited a Baltimore City elementary school to discuss his life as a musician. The kids had studied the song before the visit, and when they pick up the refrain, it's a celebration--and a testament to the power of music.

"Baltimore," Live at the 8 x 10

"Baltimore," Live at Cherry Hill Elementary

What Defines a Great Recording Artist?

It's relatively easy to rattle off a list of great songs or albums, but what defines a great recording artist? Is it record sales? #1 songs? A showcase night on American Idol?

Producer Brian Eno once noted, The Velvet Underground never sold a lot of records, but everyone who bought one went on to form a band.

Ani DiFranco, on the other hand, sells a lot of records. But she does it on her own terms. DiFranco founded Righteous Babe, an independent label, long before the Internet was a series of tubes while reimagining an artists' business model--and redefining the role of the singer-songwriter--for the MySpace generation.

Bands such as the Grateful Dead and Phish reinvented their songs and set lists every night, creating a new concert experience for fiercely loyal fans and introducing a series of live albums and bootlegs that, arguably, are just as important as their studio work.

Jeff Buckley is fondly remembered for one amazing album. And, like a lot of artists who died too young, a catalog of posthumous releases (and an assembly line of vocal imitators) has tried to fill the void.

George Clinton receives royalties every time someone samples Parliament-Funkadelic. When does he ever get credit for the originals?

Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits are enjoying a renaissance in the twilight of their careers. They never experienced the mass adulation (and scorn) as when Bob Dylan plugged in an electric guitar, but where would popular music be without Various Positions or Rain Dogs?

Are younger songwriters like Jack White and Ryan Adams so prolific--with so many incarnations--that it's hard to identify a career-defining album?

How many of these artists qualify as the Greatest Artists of All Time?

That's up to you to decide.

Cast your vote for up to 15 artists by 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 19th, and tune in as we start the countdown of the 897 Greatest Artists of All Time later around Memorial Day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meaghan Smith Keeps It Simple

Meaghan Smith is a singer originally from London, Ontario who debuts with The Cricket's Quartet.

She once studied to be an illustrator and her music colorfully splashes to life and recalls a bygone era of swinging big bands and simpler times.

Meaghan plays IOTA in Virginia tomorrow night. Listen for her on a future Morning Sessions.